Executive Team

/Executive Team
Executive Team 2018-10-16T06:31:47+00:00

Executive Team

The Executive Team is tasked with running the day-to-day operations of the International Institute of Space Commerce.

Rob Alexander
Rob AlexanderExecutive Director
Rob Alexander assumed the role of Executive Director in June of 2017. Mr. Alexander has worked in various human space flight for the last 20 years, including the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs in various capacities with United Space Alliance (a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin), McDonald Dettwiler (the Canadian space robotics company), and Science Applications International Corporation (an international engineering and science contractor). He was in the private space sector for several years as a member of the NanoRacks team in Houston, Texas. Most recently, he has been involved with the secondary payload cubesat deployment system on the Space Launch System as an employee of Bastion Technologies at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. Mr. Alexander has a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Master of Space Studies degree from the International Space University.
Olga Stelmakh-Drescher
Olga Stelmakh-DrescherDirector of Business Development and International Affairs
Dr. Olga Stelmakh-Drescher was appointed to the position of Director of Business Development and International Affairs by Executive Director Rob Alexander in June of 2017.

In addition to her role at the IISC, Dr. Stelmakh-Drescher is the Global Partnership Manager for the World Space Week Association. She has an extensive background in space matters, having worked in the space sector for over 14 years, including seven years of governmental and parliamentarian engagement. Prior to her present role, she worked with McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute, the Parliament of Ukraine, German Aerospace Center, Ukrainian Space Agency, and European Space Agency. She has become a noted as a lawyer with strong business background and fluency in 5 languages, working around the globe, combining public service with academic work and legal practice.

She is an alumna of the Paris-11 Institute of Space and Telecommunication Law and International Space University . Dr. Stelmakh-Drescher also holds a Doctorate in International Law specializing in Space Security, two LLM degrees and two Master degrees in Business. Professionally, she is a member of many high profile groups, including: the International Institute of Space Law, Women in Aerospace, Global Diplomacy Lab, and the Expert Network of Council on Future Space Technologies of the World Economic Forum.

In 2013, she was honored with the IAF Emerging Space Leaders recognition award, and in 2015, 2016 and 2017 she was a judge of the regional rounds of the Manfred Lachs Moot Court Competition. She currently heads the Election Committee of the International Institute of Space Law.

Dr. Stelmakh-Drescher is a frequent speaker at many international space forums (US, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific) and publishes extensively on space related topics.

Elliot Carol
Elliot CarolChief Economist
Mr. Elliot Carol is Founder and CEO of Lunar Resources, Inc., a leading space industrial company developing technologies to harness the Moon’s resources. Previously, Carol was CFO of Ripple Aerospace, a Norwegian launch services company developing large-scale oceanic launch systems. In addition, he continues to serve as Chief Economist of the International Institute of Space Commerce, the leading thinktank on space commerce and economics, and is a Partner of an emerging boutique Investment Bank developing a “Space Exploration and Innovation” practice, specializing in financing governments and commercial space ventures. Before joining the Space sector, he was a hedge fund manager and investment banker, receiving numerous awards including Acquisition International's “Recognized Leader: Quantitative Investment Modeling” and “Best Global Tactical Asset Allocation Fund".
Richard Rogers
Richard RogersState of the Industry Report Editor
A member since May of 2017, Richard Rogers became editor of the State of the Industry newsletter in June 2017.

A lifetime space enthusiast, Richard followed the industry from afar while working in the airline industry. He fostered many contacts in the US space program through participation in fundraisers for the Foundation for International Space Education, which continued until he took his own place in the industry. He joined the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, USA, in January 2017, where he currently holds the position of crew trainer.

Natasha Parks
Natasha ParksCorporate Liaison
Natasha Parks has a strong and varied background of over 20 years in the space industry that serves the IISC well. She entered the space industry after getting her Bachelors in Aerospace from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1998. A large part of her studies was time spent at the Moscow State Aviation Institute. She also earned a Manned Spacecraft Life Support Systems Certification from the Gagarin Russian State Research and Flight Test Center as an undergrad. Since then, her work has taken her to positions at Johnson Space Center, the Marshall Space Flight Center, and various posts in the Washington, DC, area. This work has included duties on the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and Soyuz programs.

Ms. Parks is currently with Millennium Engineering as the Deputy Element Operations Manager for Orion Landing and Recovery at the Kennedy Space Center. In 2014, she was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Medal for her efforts there.

An IISC member since 2017, Ms. Parks was appointed to her position by Executive Director Rob Alexander in August of that year.

Kimmo Nieminem
Kimmo NieminemCorporate Liaison
Kimmo Nieminem joined the IISC after twenty five years of combined experience in subsea, space and military projects. Kimmpo is most well known for his fifteen years of work experience with NASA at Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Extravehicular Activity (EVA), Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) and Extravehicular Robotics (EVR), during which he worked as an engineer and diver. As a Reliability Manager, led reliability system reviews (for approval) for International Space Station and Shuttle robotic systems.

He also has ten years of experience as a Subsea Operation Manager and Subsea Client Representative in complex large-scale subsea operations.

Kimmo recently made the move to Marshall Space Flight Center where he works as a safety and mission assurance engineer on the SLS and other advanced programs.

Kimmo has received Bachelors Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences and Electronics Engineering from Nottingham Trent University.

Prior to joining the space industry, Kimmo served in the Finnish Navy's Special Forces as a member of the Underwater Demolition Team (a joint training program with the US Navy Seals). He also completed the US Navy SERE school.

A member since 2017, Kimmo took on the role of IISC Corporate Liaison in July of that year.

Sam Spencer
Sam SpencerTechnology Advisor/Asia-Pacific Advisor

Sam Spencer is a highly respected technology leader focusing on innovative technical development and project / business optimization. He has over 16 years of success in the development of over $US40 billion of innovative on-Earth oil / gas, metals, utilities and infrastructure projects at several locations around the world. In 2014 he used this experience to start the world’s first engineering company focused solely on in-space resources, Etiam Engineering, which specializes in the process design and optimization of Space-based In-Situ-Resource-Utilization (ISRU) projects (e.g. asteroids, Mars, Moon, etc), under the main specialties of Life Support / Propellants and Metals / Plastics.

Sam is the Co-Author of a book series on Developing and Settling Space and a Director of the international child safety charity non-profit The Safety Educator. Sam also has a B.Eng Chemical (Honors) and an MBA (Technology), is an advisor on the United Nations Space Generation Advisory Council on Commercial Space, a member of the Technical Panel of The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group, a Technology Advisor for the International Institute of Space Commerce, a NASA NIAC collaborator, advisory Board Member of the Lifeboat Foundation, member of the AIAA Space Resources Technical Committee, member of the Space Development Steering Committee, is certified as a Project Management Professional and a Six Sigma Black Belt, and is a Fellow of The Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Institution of Engineers Australia.